14-09-12 The Treatment Of Cardiac Arrest
[The Carradale Goat]A Course will be held in the Village Hall By Dr Abernethy.


A cardiac arrest happens when your heart stops pumping blood around the body. The most common cause of a cardiac arrest is a life threatening abnormal heart rhythm called ventricular fibrillation.

Ventricular fibrillation occurs when the electrical activity of the heart becomes so chaotic that the heart stops pumping and quivers or 'fibrillates' instead.

This is a cardiac arrest. It can sometimes be corrected by giving an electric shock through the chest wall, using a device called a defibrillator.

Some other reasons why you might have a cardiac arrest are:

•if you lose a large amount of blood or fluid
•lack of oxygen
•your body being very hot or very cold
•a blood clot in the lung or coronary arteries

A cardiac arrest is different from a HEART ATTACK.

A heart attack usually happens because you have coronary heart disease. If you have a heart attack, you do not always experience the life threatening rhythms that can lead to a cardiac arrest. A cardiac arrest does not always happen because you have a heart condition.

If you have a cardiac arrest, you lose consciousness almost at once.

There are also no other signs of life such as breathing or movement.

This is an emergency and if you witness a cardiac arrest you should call 999 immediately.

Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR)

Unless someone starts cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) the person may suffer permanent damage to the brain and other organs.

CPR means:

•chest compression (pumping the heart by external cardiac massage), to keep the circulation going until the ambulance arrives and
•rescue breathing (inflating the lungs by using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation)

Ambulance staff are trained in advanced resuscitation and all emergency ambulances carry a defibrillator.

Click HEART FOUNDATION for further information.

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